Monday, May 29, 2006

Day 1 at RG: The Crying Game

Well, tennis fans may be glad to see Slams start a day early, but some people -- not so much.
There was Maria Sharapova, still recovering from an ankle injury. She needed three sets to beat American Mashona Washington, 6-2, 5-7, 7-5.
"I asked if I could play later. The answer was, 'You're playing Sunday, fourth match, ' " she told reporters after her match. Who would say no to the tennis teen queen? Read on.
Roger Federer was down 3-1 in the first set of his first round match before rallying to beat some guy named Diego Hartfield 7-5, 7-6 (2), 6-2.
"I didn't want to be the guy who starts the tournament," he said. "You play Sunday, first up, you feel like the tournament hasn't even started yet, and right away you're challenged. It's not easy."
Wow, the French federation -- tennis in general -- more concerned about making money than the health of the players? That's an unbelievable concept. Almost as unbelievable as the fact that the tennis season is 11 months long.
The players have a point here. Ultimately, if you force Sharapova to play, and if she either hurts herself or pulls out before her match, that hurts far more than giving her a day to rest. Although as demanding as this surface is, it's hard to think that only one day would make a difference with an injury you've been dealing with for nearly two months.
As for Federer, boo-hoo. Geez, it really sucks to be you.

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